In 1818 Dr. James Blundell made a successful attempt to transfer blood from a human source to another human being using an instrument he personally developed to save another person’s life . Following Dr. Blundell’s successful medical procedure, there had been numerous study initiated to improve the process and quality of blood transfusion. Nevertheless, this procedure cannot be initiated unless there is an available source of blood that can be transferred to a patient. Relatives were among the very first subjects tested for blood matching in the event that a patient needs the procedure. However, in certain rare occasion, especially on medical emergencies relatives are usually not immediately available. In this event, the medical health profession saw the need to keep a stock of blood in the hospital or in blood banks for easy access. This prompted the government and the different health institutions to aggressively campaign on blood donation. Individuals are summoned to go take the screening evaluation to validate that they are qualified to donate their blood for a worthy cause. Individuals who passed the intensive screening evaluation are considered and submitted to the process of blood extraction.
Over the years there had been the scarcity of blood available for transfusion. In addition, people are not motivated to donate blood for a hundred different reason. To address this issue, the concept of paying donors in exchange of a sizeable amount of blood was introduced and for a while it was positively received by donors until the concept of paying the blood donor received wide criticism. This paper will offer a critical analysis on the concept of paying blood donors and discuss how this significantly impact the whole process.
Arguing for and against Paid Blood Donation
According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times, blood donation is very valuable. Many lives have been saved by this medical breakthrough. However, the author of the article entitled, “Blood donation is valuable, so why not pay donors?” noted that there was a time that there was a scarcity of blood in hospitals . Many economists stepped in and offered the most convenient solution—pay the donors. While it seemed like it was an easy solution, many questioned the impact that it will create.
Pay the Blood Donors
According to the temporal motivation theory developed by authors Piers Steel and Cornelius J. König there are several factors that motivate an individual to do a certain thing . This concept can be applied to paid blood donation. To encourage people from making blood donations, an incentive was introduced in form of monetary remuneration. However, the payment is not the only factor considered in the equation. In fact, the monetary equivalence of the amount donation should be compensatory and this has to meet the expectation of the donor. Furthermore, the procedure should not be tedious to encourage more donors to come in and be evaluated.
Do not pay the donors
There were many critics who argue the ethical perspective of paying blood donors. According to these critics the proposal offers numerous risks. While offering a monetary remuneration may be encouraging, it will also invite people to be dependent of the government and they may eventually become a trading commodity that will encourage scams and fraud that could compromise the health of the user. Furthermore, it could create market segmentation which could compromise the other aspects of blood donation. For example, blood donation comes in two ways—whole blood donation and fractionation, a process which would separate the components of the whole blood depending on the needs of the patient. Likewise, donors may go directly contact patients directly which could compromise the safety of the patient.
The best resolution to address the issue would be to conduct extensive health education and possibly an assembly that would discuss the issue at hand. The people should be aware of the risks associated with the procedure and the necessary requirements needed to qualify to the program. While paying blood donors may be effective particularly in encouraging the public to participate in the program, there should be a clear criterion for who qualifies to the program and how much they are going to be compensated.
ANA Code of Ethics: Provision III
According to provision three of the ANA Code of Ethics, “the role of the nurse promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient” . Provision 3.6 referring to impaired practices like receiving payment for blood donations, the ANA must be vigilant at addressing the pros and cons of the issue.
American Nurses Association. (2011, December 14). Provision 3 | Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements. Retrieved from American Nurses Association Website: http://www.nursingworld.org/Mobile/Code-of-Ethics/provision-3.html#five
Federation of Indian Blood Donor Organisations. (2008, July 23). History of blood transfusion: FIBDO. Retrieved March 22, 2016, from Federation of Indian Blood Donor Organisations Website: http://www.fibdo.org/history-of-blood-donation.html
Kaplan, K. (2013, May 24). Blood donation is valuable, so why not pay donors? Retrieved March 22, 2016, from Los Angeles Times Website: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/24/science/la-sci-sn-should-blood-donors-be-paid-20130524
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